Parenting: When Less Is More

I had seen some of the best and the worst in other peoples children, so I thought that my experience had given me some perspective into what kind of parent I was being. I had seen the pushers. The tired children coming into school happy about their experiences outside of class, but never quite thrilled to be going back to them so quickly. Like so many things in parenting, I assumed since I could see the flaws of other, I would easily be able to avoid it in my own life. This was until, my own child said?No?.

Between Dance, and Sports, and friends. My daughter was living a busy life. And I was encouraging it. After all, I wanted her to succeed in everything, become the smartest girl I knew, go to Harvard, (marry someone I approved of), and be the most successful person she could be. But in my busy parenting lifestyle I overlooked one thing. My daughter at the ripe old age of seven, knew her own limits, and I hadn’t been listening.

Stopping To Smell the Roses

Let’s face it our society is moving quickly, it’s tough to settle down. But we’re getting better. People are air traveling less, biking more, and walking more. It’s time these trends hit home. One bit of advice that I liked was?Give your children time to experience things at their own pace.? This parenting philosophy can also help keep your family schedule under control. When spending the day out, don’t set a schedule. Ask your child when they are ready to go to the next museum, or activity. There is no reason to follow a clock when you are out having fun. Not only does it stress you out, it doesn’t allow your child to be able to get the most out of what they are doing.

Instead of going to get fast food. Take your children produce shopping with you. Let them peruse the aisle and pick out things that look neat. You can find a recipe for whatever they pick. And they can help you cook. Some parents are even taking it so far as to put off preschool enrollment. A three year old exploring at his own pace can be beneficial.

Finding Alternatives

There is no reason we need to keep our children at home all the time. Of course extracurricular activities are an important part of socializing, learning and growing. After becoming more attune to my daughters feelings, I was simply able to ask her opinion on an activity. She still wants to do most of them. And if she starts to feel rushed she lets me know. We’ve also worked on changing the speed of how we do things around the house. Less Wii, and more boardgames. Bike rides instead of car rides. With the right attitude, your child can experience the world without feeling rushed and stressed, and you can turn from a helicopter parent into a gliding one.

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